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El Paso, Texas
United States
Branding KCOS
Channels Digital: 13 (VHF)
Virtual: 13 (PSIP)
Subchannels 13.1 PBS
13.2 El Paso Community College TV[1]
13.3 Create[2]
13.4 Local 15
Affiliations PBS
Owner El Paso Public Television Foundation
First air date August 18, 1978 (39 years ago) (1978-08-18)
Call letters' meaning Trans-PeCOS (Coverage area)
Former channel number(s) Analog:
7 (VHF, 1978–1981)
13 (VHF, 1981–2009)
30 (UHF, until 2009)
Transmitter power 42 kW
Height 259 m (850 ft)
Facility ID 19117
Transmitter coordinates 31°47′15″N 106°28′49″W / 31.78750°N 106.48028°W / 31.78750; -106.48028 (KCOS)
Licensing authority FCC
Public license information: Profile
Website www.kcostv.org

KCOS, virtual and VHF digital channel 13, is a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) member television station licensed to El Paso, Texas, United States. The station is owned by the nonprofit El Paso Public Television Foundation. KCOS maintains studio facilities located on Viscount Boulevard (northeast of I-10) in northwest El Paso, and its transmitter is located atop the Franklin Mountains on the El Paso city limits.


The station first signed on the air on August 18, 1978, originally broadcasting on VHF channel 7. It was the first English-language television station to sign on since KVIA-TV (channel 7) debuted 22 years earlier in September 1956.

Prior to KCOS's debut, El Paso was the largest city in the United States that did not have a PBS member station. Some viewers in the market were able to receive Las Cruces, New Mexico-based KRWG-TV (channel 22). However, the Franklin Mountains significantly impaired KRWG's signal coverage deep into the market, rendering the station unviewable in most of El Paso itself. PBS arranged for NBC affiliate KTSM-TV (channel 9) to carry Sesame Street in the market from the show's 1969 debut until KCOS's sign-on (this was a common practice in other markets throughout the country that similarly lacked access to public television). Until KCOS signed on in 1978, cable providers in the El Paso market piped in KRWG and out-of-market PBS station KNME in Albuquerque.

Former KCOS logo

On July 10, 1981, KCOS switched channel positions with KVIA, the city's ABC affiliate, and moved to VHF channel 13. This was done to give KVIA a greater broadcast signal range on parity with KTSM-TV and CBS affiliate KDBC-TV (channel 4).

Digital television[edit]

Digital channels[edit]

Channel Video Aspect PSIP Short Name Programming[3]
13.1 1080i 16:9 KCOS-HD Main KCOS programming / PBS
13.2 480i 4:3 KCOS-DT El Paso Community College TV[1]
13.3 Create[2]
13.4 Local 15

Analog-to digital conversion[edit]

KCOS shut down its analog signal, over VHF channel 13, at 11:30 p.m. on June 12, 2009, the official date in which full-power television stations in the United States transitioned from analog to digital broadcasts under federal mandate. The station's digital signal relocated from its pre-transition UHF channel 30 to VHF channel 13 for post-transition operations.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "EPCC-TV". Retrieved November 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Create TV". Retrieved November 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ RabbitEars TV Query for KCOS
  4. ^ "DTV Tentative Channel Designations for the First and the Second Rounds" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2012-03-24.